Marking is so time consuming. It takes me on average around an hour to mark thirty key stage 3 books, which when you have ten key stage 3 classes very quickly mounts up! I have been exploring ways of making my marking more time efficient and one of them has been using sticky labels.
My school policy is that exercise books are marked every four lessons and pupils are given at least one next step that links to the work that has been marked and is a straight forward way for pupils to improve their work or raise their grade. I have found that the easiest way to make effective next steps is by posing a question which the pupils then respond to in green pen. I do really like this policy, and feel that it is effective because it very clearly shows pupil progress. However it can start to get very tedious when you end up writing a similar statement or question for more than one pupil. The idea of next steps is that they are differentiated for each pupil, however I am determined to find a way to do this without having to write the same question out multiple times.
What I am using at the moment are sheets of address labels, on which you can print anything you want and then stick directly into their exercise books.
Ideas for what to print on your labels:
- A selection of codes (symbols, numbers or letters). Each code relates to a comment or next step that will shown on a powerpoint slide in the lesson. Each pupil then writes out their comment and next step in full. It takes much less time for 30 pupils to write out their comments than it takes one teacher to write out thirty comments.
- Individualised comments and next steps. If you are a fast typer, or even if you just want to keep a track of what comments and next steps you are giving to individual pupils, it may be worth typing out comments rather than writing them. Also you could print out multiple copies of the same sheet of different comments and just choose a relevant one to stick in to each book.
- You can type up several comments or next steps onto each label and then just highlight or underline the relevant one when you stick it into a book.